By: LGBTQ Nation, Erin Rook

Late Friday, a Republican lawmaker blocked an anti-transgender bill from advancing in Indiana.

The proposed legislation, HB 1361, was introduced just one day prior and would have prohibited transgender Hoosiers from updating their birth certificates.

“The intent of this bill is to strip transgender people of the most basic and fundamental dignity,” Freedom Indiana said in a statement following the bill’s introduction on Thursday. “HB 1361 seeks to deny the very existence of transgender people—with the cruel mandate that a transgender person’s birth certificate can never match the identity they live as and the person they have always known themselves to be.”

Read more

By: Outsports, Cyd Zeigler

The National Women’s Hockey League has officially adopted a policy that lays out a path to participation for transgender athletes.

Earlier this year one of the league’s players, Harrison Browne, came out as a trans man. Since that day the league has been working quickly to create rules around trans athletes and a path to participation for trans women.

The policy allows anyone born female at birth, who is not taking testosterone hormone therapy, to compete. This includes Browne. Anyone born male at birth must take testosterone inhibitors and is subjected to testosterone testing throughout their participation in the league. Most notably, no gender-reassignment surgery is required for participation.

The full policy is listed below.

Read more

By: The Guardian

Implanting two embryos during IVF can cut the chance of becoming pregnant by more than a quarter if one of the embryos is in a poorer state of health, new research suggests.

A study of almost 1,500 embryos that were implanted in women of all ages found that putting back a healthier embryo with one of poorer quality dramatically cut the chance of a successful pregnancy compared to just transferring one embryo.

Experts behind the study believe that the body tends to focus on the embryo termed the one of poorer quality and rejects a possible pregnancy, rather than focusing on the healthy embryo that would lead to a successful birth.

Read more

By: Capital News Service, Amelia Heymann

RICHMOND, Va. – Legislation to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in public employment and housing cleared a Senate committee on Monday and now will go to the full Senate for consideration.

SB 783, sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would prohibit public employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identification. The Senate General Laws and Technology Committee voted 12-3 in favor of the bill.

SB 822, filed by Sen. Jennifer Wexton, D-Leesburg, would prohibits public housing discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identification. The committee approved the proposal, 11-3.

Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor, praised the committee’s approval of the bills.

“No Virginian should be pushed out of their home or their job because of who they are or who they love,” Northam said. “I applaud the Senate committee for advancing policies to ensure Virginia is open and welcoming to all.”
Read more

By: Telegraph, Sarah Knapton

Nurture is as important as nature when it comes to IVF, scientists have found, after showing that the chemical ‘soup’ in which embryos are placed during their first days of life is crucial to their success.

In a study which will be presented at the British Fertility Society meeting in Edinburgh today, experts found that by simply switching the conditions in which fertilised eggs live before implantation the womb, they can double the number of healthy embryos.

Previously it was thought that all genetic problems in embryos stemmed from DNA errors in the egg and sperm of the mother and father, and could not be altered.

But the new study proves that chromosomes – which hold the DNA – are still malleable even after fertilisation and the environment they live in has a huge impact on how well they will form, and ultimately the health of a baby.

Pregnancy loss was 3.5 times higher for embryos which grew in one ‘soup’ compared to the other.

Read more

By: People, Karen Mizoguchi

Amy Smart feels indebted to the woman who helped realize her dream of becoming a parent.

“One month ago today, Dec. 26th our amazing beautiful daughter came into this world. Feeling so grateful to have her in my arms,” the actress, 40, captioned a mother-daughter photo on Instagram Monday.

“After years of fertility struggles I give thanks today to our kind, loving surrogate for carrying her,” she concluded.

Smart and husband Carter Oosterhouse announced the arrival of their first child on Dec. 31 via social media. The baby news came as a surprise as the couple had not publicly revealed their plans to start a family.

“It is with great attitude and pleasure to welcome our little girl Flora to the world,” the new mom wrote alongside the picture of herself and Oosterhouse, 40, holding Flora in what appeared to be a hospital bed.

Smart and Oosterhouse got married in 2011. They began dating in 2010 and got engaged five months later.

By: Fox News Health

When couples are trying to grow their families, many women feel pressured to modify their diet and lifestyle to increase their chances of getting pregnant. But according to the National Institutes of Health, about one-third of all infertility cases stem from male reproductive issues, which suggests men, too, must carry the burden of trying to conceive.

To help aspiring dads do their part, a new device and smartphone app called the Trak Male Fertility Testing System has hit the market. Trak Fertility allows men to collect, count and track their sperm from the privacy of their own homes. The device uses centrifugal force to isolate and quantify the sperm cells, and the indicator specifies whether men have a low, moderate or optimal sperm count.

As with other fitness trackers, men can enter this information into an app and track their counts over time. The app also allows users to log information about their lifestyle— such as diet, exercise and stress levels, all of which can affect sperm counts. The idea of the device is that under doctors’ supervision, users may use this insight to change their lifestyles and strive toward achieving an optimal sperm count.

The Trak Male Fertility Testing System will be released on January 10, 2017. For more information click here.

By: BBC News, Michelle Roberts

A baby has been born to a previously infertile couple in Ukraine using a new type of “three-person IVF”.

Doctors in Kiev used a method called pronuclear transfer in what is a world first.

It is, however, not the first child born with DNA from three parents.

The baby girl, born on 5 January, is thought to be the world’s second “modern three-parent baby” – another child was created using a slightly different method in Mexico last year.

The Kiev team fertilised the mother’s egg with her partner’s sperm. They then transferred the combined genes into an egg taken from a donor.

The child has the genetic identity of the parents, alongside a tiny amount of DNA from the second woman.

Read more

By: Military Times, Leo Shane III

The Department of Veterans Affairs will start offering in vitro fertilization services to injured veterans for the first time in March, under new rules released on Friday. 

The move comes just a few months after Congress dropped a ban on the procedure for veterans and their spouses, the result of a yearslong push from advocates who called the restrictions unfair to individuals who sacrificed for the country. 

Limited fertility counseling is already available to veterans, and active-duty troops who suffer service-related injuries are eligible to receive advanced fertility treatments including IVF services. But existing rules had blocked VA from matching all of those military offerings until now. 
Read more

By: National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce

The National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), the business voice of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, has released the first ever snapshot demonstrating the economic and social impact of America’s LGBT business owners and entrepreneurs. The “America’s LGBT Economy” report explores the revenues, types, sizes, and geography of LGBT-owned businesses currently certified by the NGLCC, as well as the number of jobs they create and the personal narratives of successful LGBT business owners who reflect the very best about America’s innovative and entrepreneurial spirit.

Key findings in the “America’s LGBT Economy” report include:

  • In 2015, NGLCC certified LGBT Business Enterprises (LGBTBEs) alone contributed over $1.15 billon to the US economy; if all estimated LGBT-owned businesses in America are projected, their contribution to the economy exceeds $1.7 trillion;
  • Over 900 Certified LGBTBEs have created over 33,000 jobs in the United States;
  • LGBTBEs have an average revenue of $2,475,642, with at least one LGBTBE reporting $180,000,000 in annual gross;
  • Average LGBT enterprises have been in business at least 12 years— far above national average, as some reports state nearly half of small businesses fail in their first five years;
  • The number of non-white LGBT business owners continues to increase annually—now at over 17%, bolstered by NGLCC’s leadership in the National Business Inclusion Consortium (NBIC) which brings together all minority business communities;

Read more